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Choosing Where to Retire

Guest Author - Jim Fortune

It's probably just me. But I am sure that other people do it too. I have never asked, but I do not think I am the only one who does this. So what is "this" that I am referring to?

When I go someplace, I am always checking certain things out, like what kind of hospital does the place have? I pick up a real estate guide to get a sense of the home prices. Is there a Super Wal-Mart? What about Home Depot? Is there a ready source of high speed Internet or DSL in the area? When I checked on the price of homes in the real estate guide in San Diego, it told me a lot about "this".

So what am I doing? What is the "this" that I am looking for? I am looking to see if "this" is a place where I could settle down when I retire. I am always looking to see if "this" place is THE place.

Where I live, it was -5 a few weeks ago. That's too cold for me when I retire. And while I am not looking to retire tomorrow, I am in my mid fifties and I do not want to get there and not be ready. What better time to check out a place to retire in than while I am travelling and relaxing any way?

I live in Colorado and if you told me when I moved here in 1969 that someday I would have air conditioning in my home, I would have bet you $1,000 that I would never have it. Our air conditioning in the summer consisted of an open window and a Patton electric fan. But it only got up to 90 for one week every summer and it was manageable.

Since 2000 we actually wish it would get down to 90 instead of the 95 or higher heat we put up with for six or seven weeks in the summer. We had to get a new furnace in 2007 and got air conditioning installed too. I'm glad we got it installed. Turns out we were one of the few homes in the neighborhood that did not have AC. So it makes our house more saleable when we do retire.

Like I said earlier, two weeks ago it was -5 here. Right around Christmas it was 61. It is a crazy place what with global warming and the weather going haywire no matter where you live. So I am looking around and when I write travel articles this year I will also be looking at a retirement index of some sort for each of the places I write about.

The place has to have a Super Wal-Mart, a good hospital, a Home Depot and high speed Internet or DSL. I don't need cable TV. I only get the three major channels now - ABC, CBS and NBC, Fox and PBS. That's all I need.

Average temperature in the winter should be around 45 - 50. It can be a little colder for a week or so, but that is about all the cold I want. Summer needs to be no higher than 80 -85. Closer to 80 would be perfect. No or very little humidity. I don't do clammy in the summertime. I like to take a shower and put the towels on the towel rack and come back later in the afternoon or evening and they are dry - ready for another shower dry off. I don't do bugs, roaches, snakes, skeeters, lizards or spiders. I don't have them now, and I don't need them in retirement.

You can see the requirements are pretty high. I am not ruling out moving out of the United States of America. I could go worldwide, so I am not tied to just the USA. I like southern Italy and the south of France is nice. Warm in the winter, no humidity and cool in the summer.

If you find something, let me know, O.K.?

Until next time, let me know what is on your mind, and how you are doing, O.K.? You can send me your questions or comments on my bio page. My next article will be out shortly.

Jim Fortune - the BellaOnline Budget Travel Guy
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